Fix is in on cappedprice servicing
NOT all fixed-price servicing deals are created equally.
Some budget hatchbacks can cost more to maintain than a luxury car, a survey by
Carsguide has found. Seven of the top 10 brands have capped-priced servicing. But often the capped pricing runs out just before expensive routine maintenance begins, or doesn’t cover the warranty period. Some brands require twice-yearly dealer servicing.
In the most dramatic example of the differences, a $13,990 Nissan Micra hatchback costs $1584 to service over three years, more than $700 or 80 per cent dearer than the cost of regular checkups on a Volkswagen Golf diesel ($876). Toyota’s heavyduty LandCruiser costs $1260.
Comparing like with like, the new Nissan Pulsar costs $1641 to service, more than twice that of a Toyota Corolla ($780).
Among the top-selling brands, the cheapest cars to maintain over three years are the Hyundai i20 ($567), Holden Barina ($740), Mitsubishi Mirage ($750) and Toyota Yaris ($780). However, Hyundai’s capped price servicing runs out two years before its five-year warranty ends, Holden requires customers to visit every nine months, and Toyota six months.
Other anomalies: most diesel cars are consistently dearer to service than petrol equivalents. But in some cases diesel maintenance is cheaper in the initial service period, rising sharply as the vehicle ages.
Capped price servicing was introduced to take the guesswork out of car running costs and stop some rogue operators from overcharging.
Figures from accounting firm Deloittes show the parts departments and workshop account for approximately half of a dealership’s profit.
New vehicle prices have fallen, meaning slimmer margins, so dealers have used their service bays to make up some of the shortfall.
The Australian Automobile Association says motorists are not obliged to take their car to a dealership for routine maintenance.
Executive director Andrew McKellar says. ‘‘ A log-book service can be undertaken by any licensed mechanic without compromising (the warranty) so don’t be afraid to shop around.’’